A Pointless Plea: Hey WWE, Bring Some of That WrestleMania Charm to Pittsburgh
Okay, I know what you're thinking, but hear me out on this.
There's been a lot of chatter lately on the dirtsheets and message board type pages about where WWE is planning to hold WrestleMania XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, etc, and getting so far ahead of themselves that they're throwing out city names that make zero sense for WWE's typical WrestleMania market. I'm talking cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles (which already gets all of the SummerSlam love) and Boston. Philly is a great wrestling town. It's the home of ECW, Chikara, and is always a hot crowd for WWE (which is great if if you are the type that thinks loud automatically equals good crowd (I am not)) but people don't realize that the other big city in PA has just as many, if not more, reasons to host a WrestleMania.
1: You've already successfully pulled off the cold weather outdoor WrestleMania
This is actually the biggest determent that I could think of when it came to keeping Mania out of the Steel City. It gets cold as f**k here. I've been to Steelers games that were so cold my beer froze by the second quarter. Pittsburgh has some of the most unpredictable weather imaginable, so the idea of having an outdoor wrestling show in late March/early April is probably not the most enticing idea for fans wanting to watch pro graps.
But here's the thing; New York has crappy unpredictable weather too, and it didn't matter. People still came out in the stupid cold weather to watch a mediocre show, simply because it was WrestleMania. I should know, I was one of those freezing morons. I guarantee that if you held WrestleMania Whatever at Heinz Field (not Console Energy Center, that's pre-WrestleMania 22 bullshit) you will pack that stadium, no matter how chilly it gets.
2: Pittsburgh is way more dope than you realize
I live in a suburban town in West Virginia's northern panhandle, but I've always recognized Pittsburgh as my home city. It's relatively close (around 30 minutes on a good no-traffic day) it's not as congested as say, Manhattan or even Queens, and there's always something to do here.
Usually when people think of Pittsburgh they imagine a bunch of blue-collar steel worker types sitting on high rises, or quarterbacks raping women in bathrooms. The truth is that while yes Pittsburgh is a steel city, and yes we have lots of incredible professional sports history (even our baseball team is good now!) it's not all that the city is. There's art, hiking, a friggin' top-notch history museum, and an amazing zoo. There's the South Side if you're the partying type, plenty of parks if you like jogging and other such nonsense, fine foods galore, and Primanti Bros. if you like gross greasy sandwiches with coleslaw on them.
Look, I could go on and on about why Pittsburgh is amazing, but I'll just leave you with this; in 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Pittsburgh as the #30 best city to live in. In the world. Wouldn't you want to go to a city where happy people live? Happy people who are willing to spend money?
3: There's wrestling history here
Look, Pittsburgh's got nothing on Philly when it comes to wrestling history. Hell, we can't even top Chicago, and we definitely can't top New York. When it comes to wrestling history in the United States, Pittsburgh has always been the little brother of wrestling cities.
But, that doesn't mean there's nothing here. Some of the most legendary professional wrestlers come from the Steel City. Bruno Sammartino has made Pittsburgh his home since 1965. Olympic gold medalist and WWE/TNA legend Kurt Angle grew up here, and has a house in the same area as hockey legend Mario Lemieux. The WWWF and NWA used to pack Forbes Field in the 50's and 60's. Mick Foley trained with Dominic Denucci in a small wrestling school in the city, which prepared him to fly off the top of a cell onto a table 12 feet below at Mellon Arena 15 years later. Things have happened here. Things that have changed the landscape of wrestling forever.
I'm not saying a city needs to have history with professional wrestling to host a WrestleMania. Miami proved that. But, when building a show around a city, it's nice to know you have the option to point at history, and say "this city made it's mark in our industry" and really mean it.
4: If it's good enough for Batman, it should be good enough for you
Pittsburgh has been the host for several movie sets over the years, but never was it as exciting as when The Dark Knight Rises turned Pittsburgh in the summer into a wintry Gotham City. It was freaking BatMania from early 2011 until Christmas 2012. I'm pretty sure the Carnegie Science Center still shines the Bat Signal at night.
Why is this important? Because when awesome things come to Pittsburgh, they embrace it with passion. They even turned the Highmark building into Batman Central. The people of Pittsburgh threw in 100% when it came to making that movie something special. Hell, I sat in the bleachers for that scene where Bane blows up the stadium for 7 hours, in 90 degree weather wearing a winter coat. It was sweltering. But I did it because I'm a) A sucker and b) A believer.
I know the chances are small, but come on WWE, you could do worse than Pittsburgh to host a WrestleMania. Please let us give you our money.
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